Some business owners near tears arguing against proposed underpass for LRT

Residents and business owners packed the West Jasper Sherwood community league hall Tuesday evening, some near tears as they argued against a new underpass.

The 149 Street underpass would allow the proposed west LRT to remain at grade along Stony Plain Road, while mitigating traffic impacts at the busy intersection. But it would require extra land to the west of 149 Street, putting up to 20 businesses and a three-storey apartment building at risk.

That’s in addition to the 13 homes and 20 businesses threatened by the city’s initial land acquisition lists for the west LRT line.

“This is my total life. This is my investment, my everything,” said Klarice Monahan, owner of Pet Planet, who said the 10-year-old business allowed her to raise her two children on her own.

She was one of several business owners who spoke at the town hall-style meeting organized by the community to get more answers. “How is the city going to help me with this?” she asked.

Ward 1 Coun. Andrew Knack said he doesn’t have details regarding the land acquisition process yet and hopes it doesn’t come to that.

.@AndrewKnack says most people he’s heard from don’t like the 149 Street interchange option.#yegtransit

— Elise Stolte (@estolte) February 14, 2018

Now that he knows how much land would be necessary for the underpass option, Knack said he hopes an alternative will be found.

Local businesses are suggesting the city leave both the train and road at grade, then solve the traffic issue by making both Stony Plain Road and the parallel route, 100 Avenue, into one-way roads.

City officials are investigating that option, too. All options will go to a public hearing and debate at council March 21.

About 200 people packed the community league hall, asking questions to several city officials and three …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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